Burnham-on-Sea RNLI lifeboat volunteers joined together on Saturday 15 June at 3.00 pm sharp, with members of the community, to officially name their new Atlantic 85 lifeboat, Doris Day and Brian, at Burnham-on-Sea RNLI Lifeboat Station.
Lifeboat naming ceremonies are a very important part of integration into the community, and demonstrate proper thanks to the donor and donors’ relatives
Order of events
- National Anthem.
- Ashley Edwards, Chairman of the Lifeboat Management Group, welcomes guests and opens the proceedings.
- Allison Reshad, donor representative and niece of Brian John Sigley, hands the lifeboat into the care of the RNLI.
- Adrian Carey, RNLI Head of Maritime Delivery, accepts the lifeboat on behalf of the RNLI and hands it into the care of Burnham-on-Sea Lifeboat Station.
- Matthew Davies, Lifeboat Operations Manager, accepts the lifeboat on behalf of Burnham-on-Sea Lifeboat Station.
- Reverend Graham Witts leads the Service of Dedication.
- Kate Barber, crew member at Burnham-on-Sea Lifeboat Station, invites the donor’s niece Allison Reshad to name the lifeboat.
- James Heappey, Member of Parliament for the Wells Constituency, delivers a ‘Vote of Thanks’.
- Ashley Edwards closes the proceedings.
After a short break, both Burnham-on-Sea lifeboats were then transported to the beach, for a brief demonstration of lifeboats in action
Music for the hymns and national anthem by Burnham and Highbridge Town Band
Launch Authority Phil Counsell said of the event; ‘I think that we all agree that yesterday was an enormous success in every way and we were very lucky with the weather. A big thanks to everyone who turned up in the morning and really got stuck in with whatever was asked of them in preparation for the afternoon.
The ceremony went like clockwork and hopefully not too much damage has been done to the gelcoat on the boat from the cider! I spoke to our RNLI VIP visitors and they both spoke of their high regard of the Burnham Station and crew.
Ashley (chairman) put a lot of effort in the weeks before the event into ensure that everything would go without a hitch and must be thanked, and a special thanks to Lifeboat Operations Manager Matt Davies who put heart and soul into working so hard for months to ensure that all aspects of the preparation for the day were covered. AS DLA`s we see what an enormous effort he puts in behind the scenes to make the station what it is.’
The station personnel wish to thank members of the community who supported the event, some of whom are detailed below:-
- Bennetts Cider for christening the boat
- Mid Somerset Catering for the crockery.
- The BAY Centre for loan of tables.
- 1st Burnham-on-Sea Scout Group for loan of tea pots and jugs.
- Burnham Camera club for the loan of an electric Tea Urn
- Cafe Aroma for doing the catering
- Burnham and Highbridge Town band, who did an excellent job
- Lastly the RNLI events team, who worked hard all day ensuring the organisation had the correct resources IChairs etc)
Images (Credit RNLI/Mike Lang)
BRIAN JOHN SIGLEY, written by his niece Allison Reshad,
Brian John Sigley, my uncle, Uncle Brian. He was a very intelligent, solitary man who was happiest at the helm of a boat. Whether he had a crew to work with, or captaining his own boat single handedly. In this respect Brian was acutely aware of the vital support provided by the RNLI.
Brian’s mother, my nan, born Doris Day. Bought up Brian and my mother as a single parent after losing her husband, Jack Sigley, at sea during the second world war. Jack was in the merchant navy and was lost at sea in 1941.
He was serving his country on the SS Robert Holt when it went down under heavy fire, all hands lost.
Brian was drawn to the sea at an early age and it remained his life long passion. Whilst serving in the army, throughout his civilian life and long into his retirement. When it become too difficult for him to sail his own yacht he surrounded himself with sailing paraphernalia and passed many hours wandering around boat yards and taking boat trips.
Although my nan, Doris, was not a keen sailor on open water she spent many hours with Brian on his boat. They were very close and lived a good deal of their lives together. I would spend time staying with them during my school holidays. As Brian had no children of his own he would spend many hours try to teach me the fundamentals of tacking and heaving to!
I know Brian would have loved to have been here today — to see the result of their legacy. A legacy that will benefit the lifesavers Brian so admired, for years to come..
Key facts about the RNLI
The RNLI charity saves lives at sea. Its volunteers provide a 24-hour search and rescue service around the United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland coasts. The RNLI operates over 238 lifeboat stations in the UK and Ireland and more than 240 lifeguard units on beaches around the UK and Channel Islands. The RNLI is independent of Coastguard and government and depends on voluntary donations and legacies to maintain its rescue service. Since the RNLI was founded in 1824 its lifeboat crews and lifeguards have saved over 142,200 lives.